Lancashire

Heavyweight lamb born on Lancashire farm

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Media caption"We've no plans for her to go anywhere. We hope she'll live a long life "

A farmer from Lancashire believes one of her ewes may have given birth to the heaviest lamb in the world.

Emma Jackson who runs Honey Hole Farm, in Bacup, said the ewe gave birth to a lamb weighing 24lbs on Friday.

She said: "The average healthy weight for a lamb is between 5-7lbs. It's possibly the biggest in the UK or possibly even the world."

After a difficult birth she said the mother was "up and doing well feeding her big baby".

'Little fighter'

Mrs Jackson, who runs the farm with her husband Alan, described the newborn lamb which they have named Joan as their "little miracle".

She said she had to give her the kiss of life when she was born.

"When she was born she came out breached and lay there lifeless but she is a little fighter," she said.

Image caption Joan was given the kiss of life when she was born

"It's fortunate she has survived because they can be born large but they don't often survive [because] the birth is traumatic."

Mrs Jackson said Joan has been checked over by a vet and is fine apart from her breathing being "a little heavy" because of bruising on her ribs from the birth.

"It's still early days and she has been through a right ordeal but she's drinking and we've not had to give her any extra feeds," she said.

"The only thing we are having to do is hold her while she is feeding as she has such long legs and it is hard for her to get under the udder to suck. Once she gets latched on she is OK."

She said the mother, nicknamed Geraldine after Peter Kay's character Geraldine McQueen because she is "big and beautiful", was one of her favourite ewes.

'Earned their keep'

"We didn't know Geraldine was carrying such a big baby otherwise we would have possibly booked her in for a Caesarean," she said.

Mrs Jackson said her father, who is also a sheep farmer, had never seen a lamb as big as Joan before.

She added: "We have only researched it on the internet and can't find one bigger.

"The biggest we have found is one born down south in 2009 that was 21lbs called Bruno and he was given the title of the largest in the UK and possibly the world."

The Jacksons, who have 50 pregnant ewes on the farm and one ram, have decided to keep Geraldine and Joan.

She said: "They won't be going to market - they've earned their keep."

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